While god has a special and important place in our lives, there are people who have taken complete control over the lives of people in Namakkal. No, they are not priests or politicians. They are the ‘Vasthu’ consultants. These “experts” can tell you the repercussions of building a toilet and at the same time,they can lay down specifications about building a “miraculous” toilet. This is not to undermine the way that ‘Vasthu’ works or its importance. ‘Vastu’, is in a way the Indian version of feng shui and families have followed it for centuries. We all have our own beliefs and that is respected. Then there are those who exploit those beliefs and that is what the central theme of this article is all about.
Villagers in Namakkal district are being exploited by the astrologers in that area.These astrologers have made the construction of toilets an extravaganza. Their victims are hastily filling up already dug pits and burning holes in their pockets ,just for the sake of complying with ‘Vasthu Shastra’.
For instance, Sivasakthi (a carpenter) has demolished a toilet that he built for Rs.6,000 and rather spent four times that amount for building a toilet to make his ‘Vasthu’ expert happy.
Religion occupies such a prominent place in the lives of these villagers that they’d rather spend their hard-earned money for festivals than for quintessential facilities.
Even though we might think that advertisements/awareness regarding construction of toilets will improve the situation(We must all have seen ads of Vidya Balan giving advice to women), they won’t be of any help unless the advice of these ‘Vasthu’ experts is discarded.
Construction of toilets is in the limelight but eradication of superstitions and adoption of scientific practices should also be weighted equally.
Reach out to us if you want to know how to help us.
Submitted by – Sreelatha V